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Guardsmen home in on successful missile defense test

(Master Sgt. Mike Smith, far left, at the 49th Missile Defense Battalion on Fort Greeley, Alaska, with National Guard officials, December 2008. U.S. Army National Guard photo.)

 

FORT GREELY, Alaska – Alaska Army National Guard warfighters from the 49th Missile Defense Battalion here Friday launched and directed a ground-based interceptor missile that destroyed a target ballistic missile in space, miles above the Pacific Ocean.

The 13th live test of the nation’s ground-based midcourse defense system that is designed to protect the United States from a ballistic missile attack, provided a plethora of data for future system development. It was also hailed as a success by National Guard officials here and Department of Defense officials at the Pentagon.

Guard members here say the system works, and Friday’s test proves it.

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Army MPs protect missile defense facility in subzero temps

Before the sub zero temperatures, before their feet began to numb with cold and before their breath cast an icy fog inside their up-armored Humvee, they were warm.

Back in a garage on the missile defense complex at Ft. Greeley, Alaska. That’s where Spc. Gabriel Ives and Spc. Ian Beers from the Alaska Army National Guard’s 49th Missile Defense Battalion, Military Police Company, had prepared for their shift, Dec. 6. They checked their weapons and clothing – two almost equal necessities when you’re securing a missile base near the Arctic Circle.